Lithuanian troops given NATO attention

  • 2008-05-29
  • In cooperation with BNS
VILNIUS- Lieutenant General Jonathan Riley, Deputy Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and representatives of the Afghan province of Ghor visited the camp of the Lithuanian-manned Ghor Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT-7) earlier this week.

The Lithuanian Defense Ministry said that the chiefs of the Ghor provincial police and the State Security Department shared information about last week's demonstrations and the attack of the PRT-7 camp that resulted in one Lithuanian casualty.

The meeting also discussed measures to stabilize the situation the province's capital Chagcharan. According to the press release, the camp's security had been stepped up and life in Chagcharan is gradually returning to normal. Meetings are being held with representatives of the local administration and visits are made to more remote villages in Ghor to meet with the local population and provide humanitarian assistance. A few violent attacks were reported in Ghor over the past months.

 Lithuanian soldier, Army Sergeant Arunas Jarmalavicius, 34, was killed after massive unrest broke out in Chagcharan last week and protesters attempted to storm the Lithuanian-manned NATO base in Chagcharan. Another two Lithuanian soldiers suffered minor injuries from rocks thrown by Afghan demonstrators at the time of the incident. Monday night, a missile was fired at the Lithuanian-led Ghor's PRT-7 camp in Chagcharan. The missile landed near the camp's fence, causing no injuries.

 Lithuania started leading PRT in Ghor in 2005. The main goal of the PRTs is to help Afghan authorities expand their influence in the province, ensure security and stability as well as form suitable conditions for reconstructing the province. There are a total of 170 Lithuanian soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan.